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RE: filmscanners: open and control

>A lot of people who talk about "evading" patents are confusing them with
>copyright, which is another thing entirely.

While many people do confuse the two, one must be careful not to assume that
the distinctions and uses of the two which exist in one country hold for
another.  I made that mistake once by assuming that because copyright,
trademark, and patent have given uses and meanings in the US they had the
same meanings and uses in other places like the UK.  Until recently,
copyrights in the US were valid for a specific limited length of time and
could be renewed multiple times by the original owner or those who had be
assigned the copyright; currently copyrights in the US are valid for the
life of the originator even if assigned to someone else, I believe, and are
renewable for a limited length of time only once.  Moreover, I believe that
in the UK copyrights have a broader use than in the US.  In the UK, I
believe you can obtain a separate copyright for the design, design idea, and
design concept of a patentable invention along with the patent for the
actual invention; whereas, I do not think this is the case n the US where
the patenting of an invention includes protection for the design, design
idea, and design concept which is not a separable transaction.  Tangible
designs, design concepts, and design ideas or plans as abstract entities not
tied to a particular concrete invention can be copyrighted, but not patented
without being tied to a concrete invention.

This, however, does nothing to undermine the main points which you have
made.  I just thought it was proper to suggest that the concepts being used
should be regarded in terms of shades of gray across international borders
and not in terms of black and white. :-)

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-filmscanners@halftone.co.uk
[mailto:owner-filmscanners@halftone.co.uk]On Behalf Of B.Rumary
Sent: Sunday, June 03, 2001 11:15 AM
To: filmscanners@halftone.co.uk
Subject: Re: filmscanners: open and control

In <382693518.991527991110.JavaMail.root@web595-ec>, Lynn Allen wrote:

> It seems to me that George Eastman circumvented Talbot's and other patents
> very successfully vis-a-vis sensitized-paper and celuloid negatives--and
> then proceded to take over or eliminate almost every other film and
> camera-maker in the USA within a short span of time. This probably relates
> more to the variations of the nations' laws than to the hypotheses at
> viz "control" vs. "open," IMO.
Eastman did _not_ evade Talbot's patents, as they had expired by the time he
got into the photo business. At that time British patents lasted 16 years
I believe that Talbot invented his Calotype paper negative process about
1849. By Eastman's time paper negs had long been replaced by glass plates.

A lot of people who talk about "evading" patents are confusing them with
copyright, which is another thing entirely. Patents cover the basic
principles of an invention but only last 16-20 years. Copyright covers the
exact design of a particular product, and last virtually for ever. However
when something is out of patent, you can sell something that *looks*
different, even if it conforms to the same basic principles. For instance if
Henry Ford had patented the motor car, then no one could have sold another
motor car until his patent ran out. After that they could have sold other
designs of cars, but *not* an exact copy of the Model T, as to do so would
have infringed his copyright on that design.

> Ansco managed to hold out
> the longest, but is gone now except for the name.
I think Ansco were killed by the fiasco of "Anscochrome" colour film. As I
understand it this was brought out in the fifties. Photographers thought it
was wonderful, as it had a much higher speed than Kodachrome, which at that
time was only about 10ASA. They saw that they could no take colour slides of
fast moving subjects, or in lower light conditions - great!! However it was
not so great a few years later when they found all the colours were fading
from their Ansco slides! Anscochrome was not chemically stable, while
Kodachrome has always been famous for its stability.

As for US-made cameras being killed off by Kodak, I think it is much more a
case of them being wiped out first by the Germans and then the Japanese.

Brian Rumary, England



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